ACRAWSA founding member, Fiona Nicoll, wrote an article published in CRAWS in 2014, looking back at 10 years of the Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association.
This article undertakes two related tasks. Firstly, it provides one account of the origins of the Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association (ACRAWSA) in 2003 and considers some of its significant events, publications and relationships. Secondly, it reflects on the survival of critical race and whiteness studies (CRWS) in the cultural space of the neo-liberal university. The arguments of three critical race and whiteness studies scholars are used to support me on this journey. To understand the challenges of thinking, speaking and writing critically about matters of race and whiteness, I draw on David Theo Goldberg’s distinction between anti-racism and anti-racialism in The Threat of Race (2009). I draw on Sara Ahmed’s study On Being Included (2012) to explain an increasing disarticulation between an anti-racist politics centred on equality—on the one hand—and ‘diversity’ talk and practice—on the other. The last part of the talk turns to the matter of Indigenous sovereignty, drawing on a key concept from the work of ACRAWSA’s founding president, Aileen Moreton-Robinson. I argue that ACRAWSA’s focus on everyday manifestations of the “possessive investment in patriarchal white sovereignty” (2011) have provided intellectual and ethical resilience in the face of the neo-liberal university’s radically individualising trajectory. I conclude with a call to scholars working within CRWS to resist the gendered temptation of white virtue as we enter the Association’s second decade.
Read the article in full here: Beyond White Virtue